Monday, April 18, 2011

Codex Review: Black Templar Named HQs

This post should be short and sweet.  The Templars have access to 2 named HQ choices.  Both are restricted to 1,500pt.+ games.  They are High Marshal Helbrecht and Chaplain Grimaldus.  Neither one is very special.  For the points you can usually tool up a vanilla version of either model for much better results.  Let's get started.


This is THE High Marshal.*  The Grand Poobah of the Templars.  The Big Cheese.  And he isn't that great.  What are we working with?  WS5, S4, T4, 3W, 4A, LD10. Nothing special.  At least he comes with initiative 5.  Generic Space Marine Captains get a better weapon skill.  He comes with artificer armor, an iron halo, the sword of the high marshal, bionics, a combi-melta, and terminator honors  (included in his profile) for 175pt. A 2+/4++ save is decent, but you can get better on a generic marshal.  The sword of the high marshal grants +D3 attacks the turn he assaults and is mastercrafted. This means he can have an astounding 8 attacks on the charge, but they are S4 and the mastercrafting usually does nothing as you are taking the Accept Any Challenge vow with your EC.  There is a small consolation prize for taking Helbrecht though.  He comes with crusader seals, and frag and krak grenades.  Woohoo.

He can take a command squad of up to 10 initiates and 5 neophytes of whom one neophyte can take the fighting company standard.  He must give all of the models in his unit furious charge for +3pts a model, which while nice makes the unit more expensive and really not much of a deathstar. 

For the baddest dude in perhaps one of the baddest chapters in the marines, this guy is surprisingly a nancy.  He doesn't hit that hard. he doesn't have eternal warrior.  His save is decent, but only stands a 50/50 chance of protecting him from ID through doubling out and power weapons.  The guy just isn't that great.  Skip him.  As I mentioned, you can take a generic marshal with a better kit for less.  No contest.  Let Helbrecht stay at central command while the really fighters go and do the dirty work. 


The hero of Armageddon himself.  Again, not worth the points.*  Weighing in at 195pt., you get a reclusiarch's stats (same as a templar chaplain but -1 wound and leadership).  Again, Grimaldus can only be used in games of 1,500pt. or greater.  He comes with normal chaplain gear (crozius and rosarius), along with a MC plasma pistol (nice for not overheating), terminators honors, and crusader seals.  Again, I can make a generic chaplain more killy, BUT Grimmy is actually a slightly better buy for what he brings to the table in terms of equipment/options, some of which are good and others of which are, meh.

Rules, rules, he has some special rules.  He has litanies of hate (i.e. rerolls for his unit which is usually unnecessary), but his unmatched zeal is where things start to get interesting. Instead of making only his unit fearless, he makes any unit within 6" fearless.  This can actually be good for a Templar horde army when you have large quantities of soldiers marching across the board and needing to pass righteous zeal rolls.  Combine that with his 3 mandatory cenobyte servitors and you have a unit that goes D6+3" for every righteous zeal test that they auto-pass due to fearless.  As a chaplain, he also allows models to pick the unit that the righteous zeal towards.  This keeps things moving along pretty well.

Also, as long as one of his servitors is alive, he counts as having a holy relic.  A holy relic is a one use only item that allows every marine in 2D6" to gain an extra attack once per game.  On top of that, a reclusiasm command squad member can take an additional holy relic in this specific case only. 

His final rule is called Only in Death does Duty End.  Basically after Grimmy loses his last wound (even if by ID), he can take a leadership test and get back up.  Unfortunately, every turn after he gets back up he has to leadership test to see if he stays up.  At LD9 that can be shaky over time, but it is a neat option and great way to eat a high strength attack when he is already low on wounds and you want his unit to stay alive longer. 

Grimaldus is tooled to help make a Templar horde better, not good, but better.  He helps negate a lot of the drawbacks that come with taking that type of army, but anyone who know 5th edition knows that a foot slogging army is generally dead in the water against anything that can shoot and/or move.  What he does is make it easier for large portions of the army to pass righteous zeal test and move forward to cover ground more quickly.  Optimally, with Grimmy, you would see another chaplain with cenobyte servitors and your EC leading large 10/10 man units of crusaders that are backed up by long range fire.  The neophytes take the shooting wounds and catapult your army forward and into combat with your opponent.  Again, armies with decent shooting and movement capabilities this is going to be hard and your units stand a chance of being kited along by cheap units.

If you want to run such an army, have fun, but I wouldn't take it to anything competitive.  

That wraps it up for the name HQ choices.  Next, I will talk about our gigantic generic HQ selection.
*I find it funny that around the same time these obviously underpowered characters were coming out in a fresh new codex, GW was writing up some of the most heinous, broken WFB special characters ever known.

If you missed it, here is the articles before this one in the series:
Black Templar Review: The FAQ

And here is the next articles in the series:
Codex Review: Black Templar HQs


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1 comment:

Irving Zissman said...

Good wrap-up, I just found your blog while researching the Black Templars (playing a game with them tomorrow, likely against GK) and I'm really impressed with the wealth of comprehensive, to-the-point tips. I just thought I'd mention something about Helbrecht- unless I've missed something, he should have 4 wounds. Additionally, he has the 6+ fnp bionics save, which, combined with his weak invulnerable save, is still not enough to make him an adequate opponent to other codices' named commanders, but is actually pretty good at keeping him alive against other cc units (undeniably, a few high-str powerweapon attacks will crump him, but he can take a ton of regular hits and remain standing). You don't want to wager his survival against deathstars, since losing him early will cost you the precious ld10 he grants to the entire army, but you can reliably sic him onto terminator squads and other common heavy hitters, where his many powerweapon attacks and oversized command squad would allow him to quickly finish one unit off and move onto the next. In short, he isn't necessarily terrible, he simply serves a different purpose than other codices' commanders.

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